Moderator: A question from Hollywood, “I was born in 1951; the race prejudice, the Vietnam war, the view of women as second class people and small-mindedness; now, the Senate riot… Are things getting better or worse [politically speaking]?”
David: In some ways better and in other ways the same. The issues that you mentioned civil rights, equality and democracy for women in the work place and in society as a whole, the reduction of racism, I should say its elimination but that might be a bit too idealistic given the times, these things are worth striving for. But economic equality is also an issue, and the current problem we are facing is a vast inequality between the rich and the poor, which is accompanied by a destruction of the middle class to create a very large poverty stricken class, a lower class. That’s the sense in which I mean lower class.
So, economic equality is something that’s going to be very hard to come by in the Democrat or the Republican Parties because both of them believe in and support unquestioningly the role of corporations to run politics. I’m talking here about economic inequality just to remind you. The civil rights issues that you mentioned might get somewhat better. They probably will. But four years is a very short time, and any change that can be done can also be undone once the right wing begins to win again. And I’m talking about reversing civil rights legislation, reversing environmental protection legislation and to whatever degree it applies reversing legislation that will produce more economic equality. But that both parties ascribe to the same basic philosophy of laissez faire and deregulating and unregulating capitalism, to that degree we will not see much change. Because of that fact, we will not see much change in the basic structure of what gives rise to these inequalities.
So, until we confront philosophically speaking the basis of capitalism, which is the worship of the profit motive, the worship of the personal impetus ruled by greed, moved by greed, we will not see any significant change. In fact, we will see more degradation. For capitalism is responsible for the destruction of the entire planet. Unregulated, deregulated, what we call free market capitalism is responsible for the destruction of the entire ecosystem, as corporations live by the profit ethic and will do anything, produce anything, sell anything, create anything that makes money regardless of its consequences on people and on the environment. So, until we question the structure of capitalism itself, this is one window into this issue of creating a world that is sustainable, we will not see any kind of reorganization of human life. And to remind you, it’s human life specifically that is destroying the ecosystem, that is destroying the climate and so on. These are some initial thoughts to share with you since you opened up this topic.
We haven’t talked about the regulation of weather and weather patterns, which is also going on, the manipulation of weather, which was brought up as a very concrete topic in the Lyndon Johnson administration. We’re talking fifty years ago almost, approximately, where ideas of human control of weather becomes a creative idea as though it could ever be intelligently implemented. So, when you look at the scale of the issues at hand and the remarkable callousness we see in the political field, which does not allow for political self-reflection and a true analysis of one’s actions and their consequences, the picture looks very dismal unless you create some subjective reality, some religious reality that you believe in, which has nothing to do with the physical world and its state, to protect you and to keep you amused with belief systems that are transworldly.
Real intelligent spirituality has to do with living a sustainable, intelligent life, living inside the intelligence that we are given in our biological form and within our human communities. But this requires a waking up inside first of all, to what one is and then secondly, to live in a very deep meditation on what it means to function intelligently since that is not a given. But there should be certain principles that one has established even as one realizes who one is, which has to do with not creating harm, not trashing one’s body or the environment, not trashing the civil rights of other people. And to do that we must begin to remake the model, the political, psychological, spiritual model of how we operate. But this is not going to be easy. It’s going to be very difficult as you can see, and I wish I could give you a better snapshot of hope.
For example, the newly elected president is appointing people that Obama appointed who failed to address the massive economic depression and cataclysm we faced about ten years ago. If he did not appoint some of those exact people again, he has chosen to appoint people inside of the circles of those people, who think just like them, the people who created the havoc in the first place. So, if you look at this, this one fact, you’ll see that Biden is going around in circles because he cannot conceive of an economic structure outside of capitalism. They feel obligated to continue to worship capitalism and the way it operates, which as I just pointed out is the worship, nothing less, the religious worship of the profit motive. It’s an impulsive, compulsive, irrational form of thinking, if you want to call it thinking.
So, what’s ahead is more of the same, much more of the same, which means the very conditions that produced Donald Trump and brought him into power are once again being offered as the solution to the problem of correcting all the havoc that Donald Trump and the Republicans produced. In other words, the Democrats want to return to some idyllic status quo of normalcy they thought existed in the pre-Trump days, that is the days of Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. There’s a real problem with imagining that that was an ideal situation.
So, if you want to know what direction, and it’s really a very mild direction, the United States should move in to begin solving its problems, it’s the position offered by the Progressive Democrats and the Socialists in America. Although very few will use the word socialist to describe themselves, the Progressive Democrats absorb many socialist ideas and are trying to implement them along with the Green Party. Other than these two parties and perhaps some germinating parties today, of which I don’t want to begin to speak because they don’t have a formidable foothold in America yet, without these two parties, the Socialist Party which is very small in America and the Progressive Wing of the Democratic Party, which is getting a little bigger, there’s really no hope for any kind of substantial change in the status quo, which is destined to bring us another Donald Trump in four or eight years or however long it takes, and the next Donald Trump may not be as sweet and as kind and as patient as the last one.
So, if you have a taste for irony please taste my last statement. The next fascist that the Republicans produce along with the help of the Corporate Democrats who like working bipartisan with the Republicans, will produce someone that will make Donald Trump look like an ordinary house dog, a domesticated house dog. And we’ve already had all the signs of where those people want to go, and they haven’t gone away. They are not going to go away. They will never go away until the economic situation and the structure of capitalism changes in this country.